Plans for boatyard prompt row over affordable homes

Oxford Mail: Pictured at the boatyard are Jericho Wharf trustees, from left, David Feeny, Fr Jonathan Beswick, chairwoman Phyllis Starkey and Peter Stalker Buy this photo Pictured at the boatyard are Jericho Wharf trustees, from left, David Feeny, Fr Jonathan Beswick, chairwoman Phyllis Starkey and Peter Stalker

THE firm behind plans for the £20m Jericho Boatyard redevelopment scheme has defended its proposals to make just 32 per cent of the site’s housing affordable.

Oxford City Council’s planning policy says that 50 per cent of homes in new developments should be affordable, unless a developer can prove it is not financially viable.

It comes as Strategic Iconic Assets Heritage Acquisition Fund (SIAHAF)’s planning application for the long-awaited scheme was finally made public on the council’s website on Monday.

It reveals that of 22 new homes, just seven will be affordable.

But Johnny Sanderson, SIAHAF chief executive, said the benefits outweighed the lack of housing.

Mr Sanderson said: “The boatyard is one of the most complicated development sites in the city, with massive infrastructure costs going into it.

“That includes the provision of the boatyard, community centre and a public square that will finally allow people to appreciate the Grade I-listed St Barnabas Church.

“Despite that, we have still said one third of housing delivered will be affordable.

“We see that as a huge success, though clearly you always want to deliver more.”

Mr Sanderson said SIAHAF had reached a “broad agreement” with the city council on the issue.

But members of the Jericho Wharf Trust, the community group which made a rival bid for the boatyard site, have raised concerns about the plans.

Group member Peter Stalker said: “It is important to the community that there is enough affordable housing in this scheme, so the Wharf Trust is disappointed SIAHAF is only proposing 32 per cent.”

The trust has also said the plans published have pushed up the costs for a community centre by £1.6m, to £6.6m.

SIAHAF has said it will build the community centre but residents have to fund it.

In the latest designs the firm said it would have to be partly built above the community boatyard.

SIAHAF spokesman Nick Band said the developer wase unaware of the trust’s position on housing but would be happy to discuss the issues directly.

City council leader Bob Price, who is a member of the committee which will decide whether to approve the plans said: “Our policy is very clear on this issue.

“If the affordable housing quota is below 50 per cent then the questions about viability become very important. We will carefully scrutinise evidence put forward.

“We need more affordable housing in the city and the policy is part of that aspiration.”

The city council’s west area planning committee is likely to make a decision in August, and must do so before September 18.

  • Our top stories:

2014 Oxfordshire GCSE results school by school

Oxford Mail: It's A-Level day

12:30pm Tuesday 19th August 2014

Full GCSE results for Oxfordshire schools for 2014

Connor Tremble trial: Blencowe describes the moment he fatally stabbed Connor Tremble

Oxford Mail:

12:52pm Thursday 21st August 2014

WILL Blencowe has described to a jury the moment he fatally stabbed 17-year-old Connor Tremble.

LONDON WELSH: Olly Barkley backs Exiles to surprise this season

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Thursday 21st August 2014

LONDON Welsh are not just in the Aviva Premiership this season to make up the numbers.

Purr-fect ending to tale of cat missing for a decade

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 21st August 2014

GEORGIA Hand was just a few months old when the family cat Morgan went missing 10 years ago.

Coroner rules out unlawful killing verdict in gem shop raider's death

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 21st August 2014

THE grieving family of Clint Townsend yesterday said his robbery of a city jeweller’s was “completely out of character” as a coroner ruled he had not been unlawfully killed.

Thieves snatch £1,600 from pay-and-display machines

Oxford Mail: Pay and Display proposals could net council £160,000 a year

8:30am Thursday 21st August 2014

MORE than £1,600 has been stolen from pay- and-display parking machines across Oxford in the past five years.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:28pm Wed 25 Jun 14

jamiek says...

Here we go again the council wanting everyone else to build afforable houses for them latter day Dick Turpins!!!!!!!!!!
Here we go again the council wanting everyone else to build afforable houses for them latter day Dick Turpins!!!!!!!!!! jamiek
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree